Yamaha FZ-09 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I recently replaced the stock shock with the Penske 8983, as well as did springs and oil in the front forks. It completely transforms the bike and the way it takes off now reminds me more of a full on sportbike. With the stock shock, the rear end compresses heavily whenever you open up the throttle. This does two things:

1. It makes the bike more wheelie-prone

2. It makes the bike feel like a bucking bronco trying to throw you off whenever you accelerate. Around town this can be fun because it makes you feel like you're taking off like a sprinter powering off the blocks whenever you leave a stoplight (when you really aren't), but when you're riding at a brisk pace it's annoying and robs you of your confidence, so you can't take corners with the same aplomb as you would on otherwise lesser bikes.

By taking that away, the front end isn't as likely to loft on its own. It'll still power it up, it just has to be a lot more deliberate now. The rear end doesn't dip under hard acceleration anymore. This makes it feel a lot like my old ZX-6R, only without that whole powerband nonsense that 600 supersports have. Just having that rear suspension not compress under acceleration like that COMPLETELY transformed it.

Are there any downsides? Well, as I mentioned, the bike isn't as fun to ride around town, where the only "spirited" riding you can do is taking off from a stoplight quickly. You don't FEEL that rush of acceleration like you did before (because the sensation was created by the rear end compressing heavily on takeoff) at lower speeds. Also, although the bike is more planted over bumps, you still FEEL them more. That's a tradeoff though for going for a racing shock! =)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
835 Posts
Definitely more of a track upgrade vs a daily rider upgrade, eh?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
You may want to try backing off on the rebound in the rear. That made a significant difference on my bike- rides AND tracks better than the stock 8983 with the rebound setting as delivered. I also had to back off the preload quite a bit from the as delivered amount to get proper sag and ride. Mine has the 600# spring for my 200# riding weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Definitely more of a track upgrade vs a daily rider upgrade, eh?
I don't want to say that. Everyone could benefit from it. The bike handles better and is just overall a more confidence inspiring ride. It's just that if that massive feeling of going into warp speed you get from leaving a stoplight is your primary source of enjoyment on this bike, and you stick to "around town" riding, that's something to consider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You may want to try backing off on the rebound in the rear. That made a significant difference on my bike- rides AND tracks better than the stock 8983 with the rebound setting as delivered. I also had to back off the preload quite a bit from the as delivered amount to get proper sag and ride. Mine has the 600# spring for my 200# riding weight.
I'll experiment with that, thanks. I have the same 600 lb spring, but I'm 210 before gear.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,752 Posts
Definitely more of a track upgrade vs a daily rider upgrade, eh?
Definitely NOT true. The upgraded rear shock allows the bike to be a lot more stable in a corner, whether you are on a track or in your local twisties..or just going around any corner. Any time the suspension is soft and not dampened correctly, the bike is going to wallow in a corner, especially if you are not an extremely smooth rider........and I'm not saying that YOU are not a smooth rider, I'm talking about in general!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,752 Posts
I'll experiment with that, thanks. I have the same 600 lb spring, but I'm 210 before gear.
Getting the correct loaded sag setting is always the first step in suspension adjustment. I'm still playing with the rebound setting on mine by watching the tire wear in the rear and looking at the tire grooves to see if they are wearing properly. I'm in the processes of backing off the rebound because the leading edge of the tire grooves in the rear are lower than the trailing edge of the same groove...........thus, still too much rebound
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
835 Posts
Definitely NOT true. The upgraded rear shock allows the bike to be a lot more stable in a corner, whether you are on a track or in your local twisties..or just going around any corner. Any time the suspension is soft and not dampened correctly, the bike is going to wallow in a corner, especially if you are not an extremely smooth rider........and I'm not saying the YOU are not a smooth rider, I'm talking about in general!
Ah makes sense! I've been debating whether I want to do a shock upgrade to the bike as most of my miles are for commute. However, last weekend on a local twisty, my back end was getting a bit iffy. I thought about looking into the Penske deal or shopping around for a shock swap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,008 Posts
... I thought about looking into the Penske deal or shopping around for a shock swap.
IMO if you get a Kawasaki shock etc have it re-sprung and valved for the 09 and you by a good shop such as Traxxion Dynamics. If I recall right it ends up being $400 something, look up the Hawkerjet thread about it. A Penske starts at $600 something, I got the middle one (double clicker) $900 something. Can't say my riding skill requires a shock that good but I'd rather over spend on suspension than under. And I saved $ not getting a pipe lol.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,752 Posts
Ah makes sense! I've been debating whether I want to do a shock upgrade to the bike as most of my miles are for commute. However, last weekend on a local twisty, my back end was getting a bit iffy. I thought about looking into the Penske deal or shopping around for a shock swap.
I've said from the very beginning, way back before I got the bike, my first upgrade to it would be suspension. Performance parts, bling, and all the other things that a person can do to this bike is not nearly as important as having a properly set up bike suspension wise. The bike come stock with a lot of performance, but it also comes stock with some of the worst suspension that I've seen on a modern motorcycle. Get the suspension sorted out and I will bet that you will be wondering if you are even riding the same bike! :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
835 Posts
I've said from the very beginning, way back before I got the bike, my first upgrade to it would be suspension. Performance parts, bling, and all the other things that a person can do to this bike is not nearly as important as having a properly set up bike suspension wise. The bike come stock with a lot of performance, but it also comes stock with some of the worst suspension that I've seen on a modern motorcycle. Get the suspension sorted out and I will bet that you will be wondering if you are even riding the same bike! :cool:
I'll put it next on the list of upgrades!
 
  • Like
Reactions: triplethreat

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
In my earlier years, I wasn't that keyed in to suspension. Once you have a bike with good suspension, you can really tell when one is lacking. For me it was my modified Hawk GT that opened my eyes to what a decently suspended bike felt like. Now all of my bikes have the best suspension that a reasonable cost can get. The FZ front is still lacking but the heavier springs and oil helped a lot so I'll live with that for now. The rear is worlds better with the 8983- it holds a line through bumpy turns now whereas before, it moved off line substantially at higher speeds at modest lean angles if you hit a bump. Kudos to Nick.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,752 Posts
In my earlier years, I wasn't that keyed in to suspension. Once you have a bike with good suspension, you can really tell when one is lacking. For me it was my modified Hawk GT that opened my eyes to what a decently suspended bike felt like. Now all of my bikes have the best suspension that a reasonable cost can get. The FZ front is still lacking but the heavier springs and oil helped a lot so I'll live with that for now. The rear is worlds better with the 8983- it holds a line through bumpy turns now whereas before, it moved off line substantially at higher speeds at modest lean angles if you hit a bump. Kudos to Nick.
I feel the same way. I've ridden for years with a couple of different track bikes that have premium suspension components on it and properly set up for my weight with riding gear and track conditions. It gets you pretty spoiled riding a bike like that and makes riding one that isn't set up properly almost unbearable!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
835 Posts
it holds a line through bumpy turns now whereas before, it moved off line substantially at higher speeds at modest lean angles if you hit a bump.
That's what I was running into last weekend. Now I can associate the feeling with the suspension. I was blaming the tires at first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,424 Posts
I feel the same way, but I have to add that not only does it hold a line, it works in all situations. Bumpy roads, switchbacks, and bridge lips are soaked up. I do like my suspension on the stiff side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Stock tires really weren't that bad. If you look at the Cycle World online comparison review, there's a great picture of Don Canet going through a turn on the FZ with sparks flying. With the stock rear shock/spring, the bike moved around a lot. Stock Dunlop tires with the stiffer fork springs and the 8983 shock were much better. With Pilot Power 3's, I dragged my boot and pegs for the first time in a left hand curve at Sears Point last week- at 80+. The bike felt stable all around the track, although the front did chatter in a few places under moderate braking.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,752 Posts
That's what I was running into last weekend. Now I can associate the feeling with the suspension. I was blaming the tires at first.
Improperly inflated tires can also cause some wallowing in a corner, but they would have to be really low (relative to the proper inflation pressure), so if your tires were fairly close to being properly inflated, it was the suspension causing you the grief! Sounds like you've got a plan.........good on ya!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,802 Posts
Getting the correct loaded sag setting is always the first step in suspension adjustment. I'm still playing with the rebound setting on mine by watching the tire wear in the rear and looking at the tire grooves to see if they are wearing properly. I'm in the processes of backing off the rebound because the leading edge of the tire grooves in the rear are lower than the trailing edge of the same groove...........thus, still too much rebound
That is very interesting. I have seen this uneven wear, I call it scalloping, on a few of my bikes over the years. Had no idea it was related to rebound settings.

I usually judge suspension settings by the seat of my pants. I guess it's the pilot stuff coming out in me.

Suspension tuning is truly an esoteric art form.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Any bike comes with suspension set up for 150lbs riders. Suspension is the best upgrade you can do. It will make you into a better rider thru confidence. I will be upgrading very soon, the only thing is that I'm also building my next track bike (2001 SV650) and my wife might have something to say when 2 Penske shocks show up!!LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
And I'll keep saying the stock shock and forks are just fine for daily commuting.... ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: DreamFZ
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top